Friday, August 17, 2018

The Last Gasp of a Dying Man

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners."

-          The Godfather: Part II

The New York Times is out with an interesting pleading: A Free Press Needs You. 

Answering a call last week from The Boston Globe, The Times is joining hundreds of newspapers, from large metro-area dailies to small local weeklies, to remind readers of the value of America’s free press.

I don’t know.  I don’t think you ever have to remind someone of your value if you are actually providing value.  So, why is this necessary, you wonder?  Let me help: five letters, starts with a “T” and ends with a “p.”  “Can I buy a vowel?  How about a “u”?

In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials.

Solve the riddle yet?

Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right.

Listen, nobody’s perfect.  Why does Trump give the press such a hard time?

News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job.

This is where I would insert the countless corrections that editors have offered on the top 20 stories of the last 50 years.  Like I said, I would insert these…if they existed.

You are the last gasp of a dying age. You breathe the stale air of false hope. How little you understand!

-          Mankar Camoran

But insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period.

Enemy of the people?  Iraq is enough to be found guilty; September 11 is enough to be found guilty; Russiagate is enough to be found guilty; JFK is enough to be found guilty; the Clinton Foundation is enough to be found guilty (well, pretty much anything with the word “Clinton” is enough to be found guilty).

“Fight till the last gasp.”

Enough of that, on to the hundreds of editorials announcing this day of the press, aka the last gasp of a dying man.  I did not and will not read all of the editorials; the Times has offered snippets of several dozens of these editorials on the home screen.  Let’s take a little road trip; how many times does each of the following appear?

o   Trump: 12

o   President: 12 (not double-counting with “Trump”)


All Trump, all the time.  How about the following?


o   Assange: 0

o   Jones: 0


Not so worried about freedom of the press, it seems.  Instead, we read of the heroic local “true news” about the cat saved from the tree, the school district budget, the man needing a kidney transplant, the local high school football game, etc. 

There are many calls for free speech.  Have you read anything from the Times about supporting free speech on climate change or September 11 or Alex Jones or Julian Assange?  Any examples of treating anti-white male vitriol with the same contempt that the press treats…oh, I don’t know…anti-green spotted dillweed vitriol?

One editorial comment is especially delightful:

“Trump is inflicting massive, and perhaps irreparable, damage to democracy with these attacks.”

o   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Let’s hope so.


One only dies once, and if one does not die well, a good opportunity is lost and will not present itself again.

-          Jose Rizal

 Have some dignity; die well.  And do the rest of us a favor: die soon.


  1. Isn't it interesting there's all this coordination in favor of established media at the same time as the purge of alternative voices from the big digital platforms?

    Here's a few examples from the New York Times collection

    “Fair, rigorous criticism of the press is welcome and expected, but attacks labeling it as the ‘enemy of the people’ or ‘dangerous & sick’ are neither appropriate nor responsible.” - The Center for Public Integrity, Washington D.C.

    I guess they think they should decide what is "fair and rigorous" and what is "neither appropriate or responsible." Too bad for them they live in the real world, and at least in the West, the customers decide.

    “It’s not just that we dislike being called ‘fake news.’ That misnomer discredits facts and creates what Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway called ‘alternative facts,’ making reasoned and informed debate basically impossible.” - Miami Herald

    It was people questioning the mainstream "pro-war, pro-state, pro-socialism" narrative with real facts that made informed debate possible. And I believe the fake news slur was employed first by the mainstreamers. I guess they didn't like it when the shoe stuck much better on the other foot.

    “Chicago is a better city today, decades later, for that constant competition between these two quality news companies that, for all their differences, sure do give a damn about ‘the people.’" - Chicago Sun Times

    This one is just hilarious. Chicago is a better city now? Nope. That's fake news.

  2. Reminds me of the scripture about the wicked slaying the wicked ... :-)

  3. I am just as interested in the dying of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. I think internet media platforms will be around for a long time but these companies are able to do something the NYT never could, control what information other people can communicate. It is like if the NYT owned the only printing press in the world.

    These companies talk about free speech and then limit it, often with no justification and further than that they work with totalitarian governments like Pakistan, China, and Vietnam to crack down on non-approved speech.

    I agree that the NYT is dying but much of that is due to the dying of the delivery system. We need to actively work kill these other sites.

  4. "Let’s hope so."

    Yes, and sooner rather than later. Seems like the closer they (media and democratic state) get to self destruction the more harm they do to everyone else.